KEYSER - Mike Price, CEO for the Burlington United Methodist Family Services (BUMFS), brought a concern before the Mineral County Commissioners on Tuesday dealing with parking and traffic control for the Apple Harvest Festival.

By Jean Braithwaite
Tribune Correspondent
KEYSER - Mike Price, CEO for the Burlington United Methodist Family Services (BUMFS), brought a concern before the Mineral County Commissioners on Tuesday dealing with parking and traffic control for the Apple Harvest Festival.
Price had, during a meeting with the commissioners about this same time in 2018, approached the same subject about the payment for the Mineral County deputies for their handling of the parking and traffic control during the two-day annual festival.
Price recalled that during the 2018 meeting, the commissioners agreed to help with the finances for the festival, at a set price of $2,000.
Commission president Roger Leatherman said, “Yes, that is what we discussed,” with the $2,000 to be a one-time funding source.
Price mentioned that BUMFS received a bill for a total of $4,345 from the Mineral County Sheriff’s Department for their services, and with the commission donation, the amount owed was still over $2,000.
He suggested, “I am here to see if we can negotiate this,” with the possibility of perhaps splitting the fee charged by the sheriff’s department. He added that “The sheriff’s department does a good job for us.”
Sheriff Jeremy Taylor said that all the deputies are used for their services at the Apple Harvest Festival, and, “We are paying their overtime pay for all of the day.”
He added that at one time the services for the festival was split between the sheriff’s department and the county state police.
“The state police stopped, and now the burden is on the sheriff’s department,” Taylor said.
He explained that while the deputies are handling the Apple Harvest Festival, they are still on duty, and are required to respond to such incidents as traffic accidents.
“I can’t have extra money come out of the overtime budget,” Taylor said.
He said that he was not complaining about doing the work for the Apple Harvest, because, “We do it for other events,” naming one as the Mineral County Board of Education.
Price spoke about anticipated funding received from the state, and he said, “The state budget has not been approved,” and saying that the officials have until June to sign the budget.
Commissioner Richard Lechliter asked about the attendance at the Apple Harvest Festival, and Price said, “We have a steady attendance,” as he mentioned that last year, “it was good on Saturday, and lower for Sunday.”
Taylor said that the BUMFS could raise the charge for vendors to be on the grounds, and, “This could cover the cost” of the services of the deputies.
Price responded that the number of vendors on the grounds have decreased somewhat because vendors may now set up in areas off the campus.
He also said there is no entrance fee because, “We want to keep this as a family event.”
Leatherman said that there could possibly be a table located on the festival grounds to accept donations for the sheriff’s department.
Taylor said that assistance for parking is given by the National Guard, and they take donations.
To finalize the discussion with BUMFS, Price will make an appointment with the county commission in June or July, with hopes that state funding for the event will be established.